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Lethargy. A state of comatose torpor. Oh, what beautiful words. Oh, what a horrible condition of relentless agony.

I’m not sure if there’s a way to do this right. I wanted to say what I’m going to say for a long while now, but I never mustered the courage to do so.

Doing it Wrong

“If you’re not having fun in the bitcoin space you’re doing it wrong,” is something I’ve said a long time ago. I used to have an incredible amount of fun while doing an incredible amount of work. It still feels like I’m doing a significant amount of work most of the time, but it’s been a while since I’ve had the fun I used to have. I’m not sure why that is. It might be because, as of this writing, most of the work I do is unseen or unpublished. So it oftentimes feels like I’m actually doing nothing—or not enough. Not fun.

The most “nothing” happens of course in the one area that you (and myself) care most about, which is writing. I’ve done zero writing in the last 12 months. Maybe even 18, I’m not sure. I’d have to go back and look at my records. By writing I mean meaningful writing, obviously. Deep work. Insights worth sharing. Insights like this, or this, or even rants like the one I wrote two years ago.

Granted, I’ve written a lot of blog posts in the recent months and I’m proud of many of them, but that’s not the writing I should be doing. At least that’s what my subconscious has been telling me, or what I’m telling myself right now, at this moment.1 In any case, I’ve been doing it wrong for a while now. And today—yesterday, actually—that became obvious to me.


I still have the picture on my wall that I mentioned in an old blog post2, and it still says the following: “You liter­ally ought to be asking yourself all the time what is the most impor­tant thing in the world I could be working on right now, and if you are not working on that why aren’t you?”

It’s a mantra shared by Aaron Swartz, one of the very few people that I’d consider to be a hero of mine. I’ve lived by this mantra for almost 10 years now, which led me to work on bitcoin full-time for the last 7 or so. I still live by this mantra, and the answer is still bitcoin. But for the last 7 years, I’ve purposefully ignored all side-quests, one of which is “take care of yourself.”


I care deeply about Bitcoin, and I care deeply about bitcoiners. More than I care about myself, which became obvious about two weeks ago.

“I think I’ve reached a breaking point,” is what I’ve told a close friend of mine. “How do you know?” is what he answered. “It took me 45 minutes to get out of my car, 45 minutes to get out of the garage, and another 45 minutes until the flow of tears stopped.”

“Oh, wow,” is what he said. “Yeah, wow” is what I answered.


I never took a day off. “It’s too important,” is what I’ve been telling myself. Yes, it’s important. But not burning yourself to a crisp is important too.

“Nodes are free to leave and re-join the network.” True for nodes, true for people. That’s what I’ve been telling others that have reached similar breaking points in the past. That’s what I’ll keep telling everyone who is at the edge of burning out: “Please take a break. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere. You’re free to re-join at any time. Or not! That’s fine too. But please take care of yourself and your health. Nothing else matters if you’re miserable.”

I’ve been telling the above to many people over many years, and I hope that many of them took my advice. I’ve never told it to myself, so I’ll do it now: “you’ve done quite a bit, it’s okay if you don’t publish a chapter every week. Please take care of yourself. And whatever you do, please don’t burn out.”

Thanks. I’ll try.


The internet is a fantastic thing. I still love it, as I do bitcoin (and nostr, for that matter). I love it because it opens up possibilities; it removes distance.

My personal policy was always to say yes and make time for people. My DMs were always open, and I tried my best to be reachable, responsive, and helpful. I’m afraid that I’ll have to sunset that policy. It’s not workable anymore. I’ve been drowning in DMs and emails for a long time now, and there’s simply no way I’m ever going to read, let alone respond to, everything.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly grateful that so many people reach out to me. It warms my heart, and I’m often moved to tears by the stories they share or the opportunities they offer. But it’s also overwhelming, and I’ve been overwhelmed for longer than I’d care to admit.

It’s obvious that I have to change something. It has been obvious for a while. So I’m going to change it. I promise.


Promises are part of the problem, so I’m going to fix it once and for all with this last one: No more promises.

I promised to finish the book in X months, and I broke that promise. I promised to write about Y “soon” ™, and I broke that promise too. I promised the people who support me to be available for periodic chats and questions, and I broke that promise as well, multiple times.

No more.

Breaking promises is a surefire way to misery, so I won’t do it anymore. No more promises. After all, the easiest way to avoid breaking a promise is by not making one in the first place.

If I feel like writing something, I’m going to write it. And I’m going to do my best to publish it. But I won’t promise any more Q&As, or any more updates, or anything of that sort. I can’t. It’s too much for me. I’m sorry.

Just writing the few paragraphs you’re reading right now took me a couple of weeks, and, ironically, I promised myself that I would get it done before the first Sunday of the month. Which is tomorrow. In two hours, more precisely.

So here I am, sitting in my car once more, unable to move once more, tears and all once more, about to break a promise once more.

Something has to change, and it’s obviously me. Me and the endless promises I make to myself and others.

I still want to finish the book. One day, eventually. I still want to return to doing interviews and other things. One day, eventually. But right now I have to focus. On my health, my family, and the one project that is too important to drop. But I’ll drop everything else for now. I have to.

And now, as I’m writing this, the same old thoughts come up again. Thoughts that try everything they can to bully me into doing more. Thoughts that discourage me from posting this; thoughts that call me whiney, weak, ungrateful, and worse; thoughts that have me doubt everything, including my decision to start writing in the first place.

I’m incredibly grateful for everything, I truly am. I’m grateful for everyone who supported me on my writing journey. You are all amazing, and I feel devastated to let you down like this.

I want to write more, I really do. It’s just not in the cards at this moment. I finally have to be humble enough to admit to myself that I can’t.

What remains is hope. Hope that it will all be fine in the end. Hope that others will say what I’ve left unsaid,3 that they’ll write some of the things I’ve always wanted to write. Hope that you’ll forgive me, or that at least I’ll be able to forgive myself. And last but not least, hope that admittance will bring betterment eventually, or, at a minimum, subdue the lethargy.

  1. “This moment” was about a month ago, which is, of course, exactly the problem I’m trying to solve. 

  2. 2020 was ages ago, wow. 

  3. “I wonder… How much love in this world hides behind silence?” 


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